|Publication number||US6715262 B2|
|Application number||US 09/844,617|
|Publication date||Apr 6, 2004|
|Filing date||Apr 27, 2001|
|Priority date||Apr 27, 2001|
|Also published as||CA2378104A1, CA2378104C, DE60200703D1, DE60200703T2, EP1253081A1, EP1253081B1, US20020157351|
|Publication number||09844617, 844617, US 6715262 B2, US 6715262B2, US-B2-6715262, US6715262 B2, US6715262B2|
|Inventors||Art Malin, Stanley Piotrowski, Michael McMahon|
|Original Assignee||Illinois Tool Works Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (7), Classifications (20), Legal Events (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to reclosable plastic bags and in particular to a method and for forming, filling and sealing such bags.
In U.S. Pat. No. 4,709,533 there is disclosed a method and apparatus for forming, filling and sealing reclosable plastic wherein the edges of a film of bag material are brought together into a fin at a form, fill and seal (FFS) machine and a zipper is fed into and sealed to the fin. While the disclosed method of this patent works fine for the manufacture of relatively simple reclosable packages, problems are countered in the production of more sophisticated packages such as where a slider is to be attached to the zipper or where a hermetic seal is required or desired to protect the package contents.
In view of the above, it is the principal object of the present invention to provide an improved method for the manufacture of reclosable packages on a form fill and seal machine which enables the placement of sliders on the zipper during the package manufacturing process. A further object is to provide such a method that also permits the formation of a peel seal below the zipper during the package formation process.
Still another object is to provide such a method that can be practiced on conventional FFS equipment with modifications that may readily be made.
Still a further object is to provide the equipment for practicing the desired method. The above and other beneficial objects and advantages are attained in accordance with the present invention by advancing a film of package making material longitudinally to form a tube while guiding opposite longitudinal edges of the film into a fin. A zipper having interlocking members and an attached flange is fed into the fin by capturing external surfaces of the interlocking members within a first guide member positioned adjacent to said fin and feeding the flanges along opposite sides of a second guide member positioned within said fin. The flanges are attached to respective sides of the fin by sealing against the second guide. One of the flanges extends beyond the other flange. The flange extension is attached to the side of the fin adjacent to the other flange with a peel seal. The interlocking members are stomped together at bag length intervals and a slider is attached to the interlocking members between each pair of adjacent stomps.
In the accompanying drawings:
FIG. 1 is a schematic sectional view of a reclosable package made in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a front elevational schematic view of a FFS machine for practicing the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a side elevational schematic view of the FFS machine of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary elevational schematic view similar to FIG. 3 but modified to show an alternative placement of the zipper stomper and slider inserter;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken off line 5—5 of FIG. 3 in the direction indicated by the arrows; and,
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken off line 6—6 of FIG. 3 in the direction indicated by the arrows.
Reference is now made to the drawings and to FIG. 1 in particular wherein a reclosable bag 10 manufactured in accordance with the present invention is depicted. The bag 10 includes a main body portion 12 and has a zipper that may be opened and closed by a slider 14. The contents of the bag 10 are protected by a flange 16 that is joined to the package wall by a peel seal 18. The initial opening of the bag requires that the peel seal be ruptured, thereby evidencing that the bag has been opened.
The bag 10 is formed on a vertical FFS machine 20 depicted in FIGS. 2 and 3. A bag film 22 is played off a spool 24 and over a forming collar 26 which transforms the flat, horizontally moving film into a vertical tube 28 about the fill tube 30 of the FFS machine. The longitudinal edges 32, 34 of the tube 28 are brought together into a fin 36. A zipper 38 is played off zipper spool 40 and fed into the fin 36. The zipper 38 includes a first profile 42 and a second profile 44. Each of the profiles has an interlocking member engageable with the other profile and an attached flange 46, 48, with one flange 46 being longer than the other flange 48. The flanges 46, 48 are preferably formed of webs integral with the profiles to which are bonded extensions. The extensions are formed of universally compatible material thereby enabling the profiles to be used with a wide range of bag making films.
In order to properly align the zipper relative to the bag film, the zipper 38 is fed into a first guide 50 that extends longitudinally parallel to the fill tube 30 of the FFS machine. The guide 50 extends from the top of the fill tube for a substantial portion of the length of the fill tube. As seen in FIG. 5, the guide 50 includes a groove 52 in which the external surfaces of the mated interlocked members of the profiles 42, 44 ride, thereby capturing the profiles and fixing the flanges of zipper 38 within the fin 36.
A second guide 54 extends radially outwardly from the fill tube in line with the fin 36. The guide 54 extends downwardly from the top of the fill tube to coextend with two pairs of longitudinal seal bars, 56 and 58. The radially outward seal bars 56 a and 56 b are lined up with and substantially as wide as the short flange 48. The guide 54 is positioned to extend between the flanges 46 and 48 so that the seal bars 56 a and 56 b can be closed against the guide 54. The short flange 48 and the adjacent Fin 32 are captured between seal bar 56 a and one side of guide 54. The outermost portion of the wider flange 46 (i.e. closest to the profiles) is captured between the seal bar 56 b and the other side of guide 54. As a result, when seal bars 56 a and 56 b are closed with heat and pressure, the flanges 46 and 48 are respectively sealed to the inner surfaces of fins 34 and 32.
The inner seal bars 58 move toward one another in a cut-out formed in guide 54 so that they directly capture the fin and the innermost portion of the wider flange 46 (i.e. furthest from the profiles) between them. Seal bar 58 a is heated while seal bar 58 b is not. As a result, when the seal bars close, flange 46 is loosely tacked to the inner surface of fin 32. In this connection, to control the bond, a peel seal material may be applied to the surface of flange 46 to be bonded to fin 32.
A slider insertion mechanism 60 is provided below the seal bars 56, 58 to apply a slider 62 to the interlocking members of the profiles. To retain the slider 62 on the zipper, the zipper is crushed or stomped by a stomper mechanism 64 which serves to deform the interlocking members sufficiently to prevent the slider from be pulled off the interlocking members. The stomper 64 may be positioned upstream of the slider applicator 60 as depicted in FIG. 3, or downstream of the slider applicator as shown in FIG. 4. or upstream of the zipper guide as shown in phantom in FIG. 3.
After the slider is applied to the zipper, a cross seal is formed transversely across the film tube through the stomped zipper by seal bars 66 and the contents of the package are filled against the seal. The process is then repeated with the next transverse seal being formed through the next stomped portion of the zipper, thereby forming the opposite side seal of the first package and releasing the thus completed and filled package from the tube while simultaneously forming the first side seal for the next package.
Thus, in accordance with the above, the aforementioned objectives are effectively attained.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US5425216 *||Jun 6, 1994||Jun 20, 1995||Minigrip, Inc.||Method of making reclosable plastic bags on a form, fill and seal machine with open zipper profiles|
|US5638586 *||May 13, 1996||Jun 17, 1997||Illinois Tool Works, Inc.||Transverse zipper system|
|US5956924||Nov 7, 1997||Sep 28, 1999||Rcl Corporation||Method and apparatus for placing a product in a flexible recloseable container|
|US6047521||Jun 22, 1998||Apr 11, 2000||Pacmac, Inc.||Vertical form, fill and seal machine for making reclosable bags|
|EP0978450A1||Jul 22, 1999||Feb 9, 2000||Illinois Tool Works Inc.||Method and apparatus for manufacturing reclosable bags|
|EP1053948A2||May 12, 2000||Nov 22, 2000||Reynolds Consumer Products, Inc.||Package with a zipper closure arrangement operable by a slider device and having a peelable seal|
|GB2278803A *||Title not available|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US6823647 *||Sep 11, 2003||Nov 30, 2004||Kraft Foods Holdings, Inc.||Apparatus for manufacturing flexible packages having slides closures|
|US6941722 *||Sep 11, 2003||Sep 13, 2005||Kraft Foods Holdings, Inc.||Apparatus for manufacturing flexible packages having slide closures|
|US7059099 *||Sep 20, 2004||Jun 13, 2006||Illinois Tool Works Inc.||Process and apparatus for forming packaging bags with a fastener|
|US20040045255 *||Sep 11, 2003||Mar 11, 2004||Panagiotis Kinigakis||Apparatus for manufacturing flexible packages having slide closures|
|US20040047524 *||Jun 17, 2003||Mar 11, 2004||Stolmeier Robert C.||Peel seal tamper evident slider bag|
|US20040074210 *||Sep 11, 2003||Apr 22, 2004||Kraft Foods Holdings, Inc.||Apparatus for manufacturing flexible packages having slide closures|
|US20050034422 *||Sep 20, 2004||Feb 17, 2005||Steven Ausnit||Process and apparatus for forming packaging bags with a fastener|
|U.S. Classification||53/412, 53/551, 53/451, 53/139.2, 53/133.4|
|International Classification||B65B9/20, B65B9/213, B31B1/40, B65D33/25, B31B1/90|
|Cooperative Classification||B65B51/303, B65B61/188, B65D33/2591, B65B9/20, B65B9/213|
|European Classification||B65B9/213, B65B61/18E, B65B9/20, B65D33/25C, B65B51/30B|
|Apr 27, 2001||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: ILLINOIS TOOL WORKS INC., ILLINOIS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MALIN, ART;PIOTROWSKI, STANLEY;MCMAHON, MICHAEL;REEL/FRAME:011757/0464;SIGNING DATES FROM 20010416 TO 20010418
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